Counties with the highest unemployment in Texas

Written by:
May 31, 2024
Canva

Counties with the highest unemployment in Texas

Despite a relatively low unemployment rate just shy of 4%, as compared to the COVID-19 pandemic peak of 14.7% in April 2020, the fear of job losses remains amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in Texas using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in April 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Economists forecast a waning risk of recession and predict that the U.S. may instead be headed for an incremental slowdown in growth known as a "soft landing." Still, layoffs among major U.S. employers like Amazon to Tesla have sparked concern among Americans. What's more, unemployment has spiked in nearly half the country's states, which often indicates a looming recession, an economist told Business Insider. And with sky-high prices after a period of record inflation, savings and unemployment payments may not cover basic expenses for jobless Americans for long.

For comparison, the Great Recession of 2007-09 sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years.

Still, as of April 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 3.9%—little changed from the previous month. Regional and state employment varies widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state vary, ranging from just 2% in North Dakota to 5.3% in California.

Read on to see the counties with the highest unemployment in Texas.

1 / 50
Canva

#50. Red River County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,957 people (199 unemployed)

2 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#49. Camp County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,176 people (207 unemployed)

3 / 50
Canva

#48. Hale County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,529 people (459 unemployed)

4 / 50
xradiophotog // Shutterstock

#47. Wood County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 18,511 people (740 unemployed)

5 / 50
Canva

#46. Val Verde County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 21,669 people (867 unemployed)

6 / 50
Canva

#45. Real County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,133 people (47 unemployed)

7 / 50
Canva

#44. Hardeman County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,752 people (72 unemployed)

8 / 50
Canva

#43. Madison County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 4,827 people (198 unemployed)

9 / 50
Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#42. Leon County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,664 people (276 unemployed)

10 / 50
Canva

#41. Cherokee County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 20,984 people (853 unemployed)

11 / 50
Canva

#40. Waller County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 26,835 people (1,109 unemployed)

12 / 50
Canva

#39. Hutchinson County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 8,604 people (361 unemployed)

13 / 50
Canva

#38. Panola County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,782 people (415 unemployed)

14 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#37. San Jacinto County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 12,974 people (547 unemployed)

15 / 50
Canva

#36. Kinney County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,294 people (55 unemployed)

16 / 50
Canva

#35. Aransas County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,643 people (418 unemployed)

17 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#34. Cass County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,093 people (520 unemployed)

18 / 50
Matthew R McClure // Shutterstock

#33. Hardin County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 25,748 people (1,102 unemployed)

19 / 50
Canva

#32. Dickens County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 590 people (26 unemployed)

20 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#31. Jim Hogg County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,916 people (84 unemployed)

21 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#30. Trinity County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,426 people (239 unemployed)

22 / 50
Kasey Englehart // Shutterstock

#29. Freestone County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 6,800 people (299 unemployed)

23 / 50
Canva

#28. Bee County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,490 people (415 unemployed)

24 / 50
Canva

#27. Harrison County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 28,392 people (1,254 unemployed)

25 / 50
xradiophotog // Shutterstock

#26. Eastland County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,392 people (286 unemployed)

26 / 50
Barna Tanko // Shutterstock

#25. Jim Wells County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 16,137 people (730 unemployed)

27 / 50
Canva

#24. Matagorda County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 17,431 people (784 unemployed)

28 / 50
Canva

#23. Chambers County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 21,998 people (984 unemployed)

29 / 50
Canva

#22. Sutton County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,026 people (47 unemployed)

30 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#21. San Augustine County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 3,423 people (159 unemployed)

31 / 50
Canva

#20. Orange County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 35,973 people (1,695 unemployed)

32 / 50
Canva

#19. Liberty County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 36,822 people (1,745 unemployed)

33 / 50
Canva

#18. Brooks County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,245 people (108 unemployed)

34 / 50
Canva

#17. Polk County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 19,312 people (929 unemployed)

35 / 50
Canva

#16. San Patricio County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 30,358 people (1,457 unemployed)

36 / 50
Canva

#15. Cameron County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 184,929 people (8,958 unemployed)

37 / 50
Canva

#14. Presidio County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,052 people (156 unemployed)

38 / 50
Canva

#13. Tyler County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,084 people (361 unemployed)

39 / 50
Canva

#12. Morris County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,521 people (242 unemployed)

40 / 50
Canva

#11. Hidalgo County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 383,249 people (20,676 unemployed)

41 / 50
Canva

#10. Sabine County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,493 people (191 unemployed)

42 / 50
Roberto Galan // Shutterstock

#9. Jasper County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,289 people (672 unemployed)

43 / 50
Canva

#8. Kenedy County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 139 people (8 unemployed)

44 / 50
Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#7. Jefferson County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 104,940 people (5,983 unemployed)

45 / 50
Canva

#6. Zapata County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,525 people (275 unemployed)

46 / 50
Canva

#5. Zavala County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,568 people (227 unemployed)

47 / 50
Canva

#4. Newton County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 5,087 people (337 unemployed)

48 / 50
Canva

#3. Willacy County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,139 people (473 unemployed)

49 / 50
Canva

#2. Maverick County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 8.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 24,256 people (1,935 unemployed)

50 / 50
Canva

#1. Starr County

- April unemployment rate (preliminary): 8.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 24,832 people (2,136 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

Trending Now